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Net Zero Energy Efficiency

Embracing the 2030 Challenge eco_challenge

Sandswept is proud to have adopted the 2030 Challenge. This international initiative aims for all new construction to be net zero energy by 2030. That means that these buildings will produce as much energy as they consume in the course of a year. However, for all new homes to be net zero by 2030, the codes will need to require more stringent energy standards. Architecture 2030 proposes benchmarks for codes to meet in order to achieve net zero by 2030.
Innovative buildings like Sandswept will be leading the way, implementing  the latest research in building science, demonstrating  how easily increased energy efficiency can be achieved, and inspiring others to follow suite.

Air Sealing & Insulation

To seal any air gaps, we foamed around every plumbing pipe or electrical wire and all penetrations from the crawlspace or the roof [there is no attic]. We used an elastomeric coating on the double studs around window openings. We foamed top and bottoms plates and around all window openings. The openings around the triple paned windows used the Tremco system that uses an adhesive under the window tape, and then a tar like 006 photo (5)elastomeric air sealingsubstance over the edges of the tape, in case it should ever come loose.

There are only six recessed lights which are all Air Tight. All electrical boxes in the ceiling and outer walls are air sealed boxes. After being installed and before drywall, any holes for wires are foamed.

Before the drywall was installed, we had a blower door test with a powerful exhaust fan  to pull air through all existing cracks. That way, any leaks were easily accessed and addressed. Before drywall, our ACH [air changes per hour] was only 2.1.

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1″ Dow Styrofoam around entire house

Insulation without first sealing the air leaks is like being on the beach on a windy day with a fleece jacket but no wind breaker. Together  air sealing and insulation work far more effectively to provide an energy efficient, comfortable home. There is one inch of Dow blue styrofoam on the outside which both insulates and is taped with 3″ tape to air seal as well. This prevents any thermal breaks from the studs which cannot be insulated. Inside there is an additional one inch of closed cell foam on the inside of the sheathing and 2″ against the roof. The rest of the interior wall cavities are filled with dense packed cellulose. The weight of cellulose prevents its use in the ceilings so batts were added there.

Insulation on top & bottom of roof sheathing

Insulation on top & bottom of roof sheathing

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Dense packed cellulose fills rest of wall cavity


1" closed cell foam on inside of walls

1″ closed cell foam on inside of walls


Energy Efficient Appliances & LED lighting

• Only Energy Star appliances

• LED lighting reduces electrical demand by 90%.

• Large windows and transoms above doors create daylighting  which removes the need for electric lighting during the day.

• Versatile kitchen design creates a compact, organized, user-friendly space that gives the primary chef easy access to cooktop, oven, fridge & sink while allowing others to participate or just watch from afar. Building IKEA cabinets ourselves saved as much money as had been spent on extra insulation.



IKEA kitchen